Edition, October 18, 2000, Page 1
ACQUIRES MWW GROUP
Golin/Harris has acquired MWW Group, the nation's No. 20
firm with $27 million in 1999 fee income, to make the Chicago
headquartered firm a force in the New York region.
MWW registered $4.3 million in New York City income and
$6.2 million from its East Rutherford and Trenton, N.J.,
offices last year.
G/H was ranked No. 21 in New York with $8.7M.
Burson-Marsteller was No. 1 with $66 million in fees, while
Ruder Finn was No. 2 at $46 million.
Richard Jernstedt, CEO of G/H, said MWW will position G/H
among the largest firms in the New York market. He also
was attracted to MWW for its public affairs, technology
and corporate communications strengths.
Michael Kempner, MWW CEO, is to remain CEO of MWW, which
is to become a "brand" of G/H. The firm's Seattle
office will continue to operate as MWW/Savitt.
MWW clients include Continental Airlines, Bally Total Fitness,
and Puerto Ricans for Civic Action.
The firm also has offices in Washington, D.C., Chicago,
Los Angeles and Olympia, Wash.
TO IABC ON MEDIA RELATIONS
Hosea Martin, associate VP of United Way, San Francisco,
and with UW 12 years, joined the International Assn. of
Business Communicators as media relations director. He was
previously a magazine editor for Prudential Insurance, and
a marketing manager for Coca-Cola and Safeway.
Wilma Mathews of Arizona State University has been handling
press relations for IABC.
Nobs, with 20+ years of PR experience, has joined Shandwick
as executive VP in Los Angeles. He will head business development
efforts, and manage consumer and sports efforts. Nobs was
an EVP at Cone...Tom Drohan, Connecticut PR counselor
who has advised the new Archbishop of New York, Edward M.
Egan, named a sr. consultant at Dilenschneider Group, New
York. Drohan has been in PR for 30 years...David Allan
has joined Ketchum's global corporate practice as SVP and
head of the firm's New York IR group. He was an SVP at Robinson
Lerer Montgomery and, most recently, IR director at investment
banker Friedman Billings Ramsey Group.
BURCHETT IS NEW PRES./CEO, U.S. AT B-M
Joseph Fisher has stepped down as president/ CEO, U.S. of
Burson-Marsteller to pursue opportunities with the parent
company, Young & Rubicam.
Fisher was replaced by Chet Burchett, who is B-M's Chicago-based
president and CEO/Midwest.
Burchett, who joined B-M in 1998 from Edelman PR Worldwide,
will remain in Chicago.
Linda Recupero, 39, has replaced Burchett as chair of the
firm's U.S. brand marketing practice. She is based in New
Coates Joins B-M from Olympics
Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates joined
B-M Oct. 16 as non-executive chairman of its Australia operations.
B-M has offices in Sydney and Melbourne and works with several
Australian and international companies including Compaq,
Foster's Brewing, Motorola, SmithKline Beecham and Andersen
Coates said his involvement with the Sydney Games had been
"one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and
I will continue my close involvement with Australia and
INTERPUBLIC CREATES IR UNIT
Susan Watson, VP-IR at PepsiCo, has joined Interpublic as
senior VP-IR, a new post.
Sean Orr, CFO at Interpublic, said the agency's "size
and scope" required it to create a formal IR department.
Interpublic went public in March 1971.
The firm's shares trade at $35.44 near its $32.69 52-week
low. The stock's 52-week high was $58.38.
Watson has held IR posts at Nielsen Media Research, Cognizant
Corp.-both Dun & Bradstreet spin-offs-and Gannett. She
began her career as a securities analyst at Scudder, Stevens
& Clark, and tracked media stocks at Morgan Stanley.
REAFFIRMS REG. FD DATE
The Securities and Exchange Commission said its Regulation
Fair Disclosure will kick in on Oct. 23 despite requests
by NIRI and the Securities Industry Assn. to delay the effective
date until Dec. 29.
Louis Thompson, president of NIRI, said: "We are extremely
disappointed in the SEC's gross insensitivity to the reality
of today's volatile market, where the last thing we need
is more volatility created by the disruption in ongoing
earnings guidance as companies sort out how they will adjust
their disclosure policies to comply with" the new rule.
Edition, October 18, 2000, Page 2
GETS POOR REVIEW IN WSJ
The CueCat ad scanning device that lets readers access websites
via bar codes that are printed with articles is neither
helpful nor easy to use, according to the Oct. 12 issue
of The Wall Street Journal. Burson-Marsteller handles CueCat.
Walter Mossberg, the paper's "Personal Technology"
columnist, wrote that nearly every web page called up by
the CueCat, which is marketed by Digital Convergence, was
The scanner also required a lot of rubbing and dragging
across product bar codes. "I could have typed in the
web address more quickly," wrote Mossberg.
He also noted that some are worried that CueCat violates
privacy because it "transmits a unique code with every
scan, identifying users by age, gender, and zip code."
DC, however, says its CueCat has safeguards that assure
that information is never linked to a person's name or e-mail
Mossberg concluded that for now, "CueCat isn't worth
installing and using, even though it's available free of
B-M worked extensively with Mossberg, according to Tracey
Pontarelli, who works on the account.
"I respect Mossberg's opinion, but the launch of CueCat
is less than 60 days old," she said.
"CueCat technology is only going to get better,"
CueCat plans to distribute 10 million of the devices by
the end of the year.
MANDATES MINORITY AD CONTRACTS
President Clinton has signed an executive order that requires
Federal ad contracts to fairly represent minority ad agencies,
and said "special attention" should be given to
placing ads in ethnic media.
Clinton's directive also requires Federal departments to
compensate minority agencies for their work based on fair
The order, which was signed at a White House ceremony on
Oct. 6, directs "Federal departments and agencies to
ensure that all creation, placement, and transmission of
Federal advertising are fully reflective of the nation's
diversity," and "each Federal department and agency
is to aggressively seek to ensure (that) small and disadvantaged
businesses participate in procurement for the information
technology and telecommunications industry."
It was the first time a President has issued an executive
order that addresses advertising.
Government agencies have 90 days to develop and submit to
the Office of Management and Budget a long-term strategic
plan for complying with the order.
SUMMIT STAGED IN NEW YORK
eYada.com, a leading talk radio web network, hosted a "Gossip
Summit" to discuss the state of gossip reporting in
the digital age, on Oct. 17 in New York.
Michael Kaminer PR is handling PR for the invitation-only
event, which was held at Shelly's New York and broadcast
live on www.eyada.com.
Panelists included Jeannie Williams of USA Today; Jeannette
Walls of MSNBC.com; Michael Musto of the Village Voice;
Liz Smith of The New York Post; Lloyd Grove of The Washington
Post; Steve Brill of Brill's Content; Ted Casablanca and
Marilyn Beck of E! Online; Maer Roshan of New York Magazine;
William Bastone of The Smoking Gun; Marcus Baram and Marc
Malkin of US Weekly; Roger Friedman of Fox411.com; Janet
Charlton of Star Magazine; Amy Reiter of Salon.com, and
eYada.com host Chaunce Hayden.
The panelists discussed how the Internet has altered the
gathering, delivery, and impact of gossip. eYada.com personalities
Richard Johnson, who is editor of The New York Post's "Page
Six," and George Rush and Joanna Molloy, the husband
and wife gossip team who write for The New York Daily News,
hosted the event.
BREAKS 'NO COMMENT' POLICY
Xerox broke its corporate policy of not commenting on "rumors
and speculation" on Oct. 13 by issuing a statement
meant to reassure jittery investors that it is not going
The move was in response to rumors sweeping international
money markets that the world's biggest copier company would
soon file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Those rumors
"followed the sun" as markets opened for business,
said Jeff Simek, PR director at Xerox.
They helped drive Xerox shares down to $10 on the New York
Stock Exchange, which is a nine-year low. The stock's 52-week
high is $43.31.
Has Access to $7B Line of Credit
In the statement, Xerox "reaffirmed it has adequate
liquidity including its $7 billion revolving credit agreement,
which is available through October 2002, as disclosed in
the company's 8-K filing with the SEC on October 10."
The two-paragraph statement also said Xerox "planned
no additional comment on this issue."
The release was distributed via BusinessWire and posted
on Xerox's website.
Simek is listed as the media contact. Another staffer told
this website that Xerox is handling the crisis in house,
Xerox CEO Paul Allaire, who returned to the helm after the
ouster of Rick Thoman in May, has said Xerox has an "unsustainable
He slashed Xerox's dividend from 20 cents to five cents
a share on Monday, a move that will save the company $400
million a year.
The company, which lost $98 million for the first-half of
this year, told analysts last week that it will lose from
15 to 20 cents per share for the third-quarter. Analysts
had been forecasting that Xerox would earn 12 cents a share.
Allaire plans to give details of a "bold action"
plan to restore Xerox to profitability when it releases
its third-quarter financials on Oct. 24.
That plan, according to analysts, could include spinning
off various units, or putting the company up for sale.
Edition, October 18, 2000, Page 3
NAMED FIN'L NEWS CONTRIBUTOR
Andrew Serwer, who is editor-at-large at Fortune, was named
financial contributor to ABC News Moneyscope.
Moneyscope is the consolidation of the business reporting
assets of ABC News in a single unit producing editorial
content and program material across all ABC News programs,
Serwer will offer reports and analysis on business, personal
finance, and investing to all ABC News broadcasts.
He will appear weekly on ABC News "Good Morning America,"
and will provide financial analysis for the program.
Serwer will contribute to ABCNews.com's new interactive
business and personal finance center, also known as MoneyScope
He will provide users of the website with a weekly finance
column, live chats and other analysis and advice about the
stock market and other financial news designed specifically
for the personal investor.
Serwer has been editor-at-large at Fortune since 1996. He
joined the magazine as a reporter in 1984 and was later
promoted to associate editor.
He was a senior writer from 1995 until 1998. Besides covering
Wall Street, investing, information technology, and entertainment
for the magazine, Serwer has also edited and written the
front-of-the-book section of Fortune, which includes breaking
news and features focusing on business personalities, media,
and technology. Serwer also writes a daily market round-up
on Fortune.com, called "Street Life," that has
more than 50,000 E-mail subscribers.
`EXTRA' HOST MEETS PR PROS
Leeza Gibbons, who will host "Extra" this season,
was in New York last week to sell the syndicated show's
new look to publicists.
Gibbons spoke to many PR pros, who were invited to a party
that Extra held Oct. 11 in New York at The Light.
"The word in Hollywood is that `Extra' is changing
its image because it was blackballed by all the major PR
firms," according to The New York Post.
Under its previous producers, "no one would allow their
clients to go on the show," the Post said. The publicists
believed the old show wanted to give actors a bad PR reputation.
The Wall Street Journal Online has passed the 500,000-subscriber
mark, according to Dow Jones & Co., which started the
online business news site in the fall of 1996.
Pew Internet & American Life Project said the 2000 Olympics
was the most popular Internet event in history, but more
people still relied on traditional media for Olympic news.
The official website of the Sydney games got 11.3 billion
visits during the events, compared with 643 million for
the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan, and 370,000 for the 1996
Games in Atlanta.
During the Games, 58% of Americans got their information
on the Olympics from TV, 12% from newspapers and 7% from
That compares with fewer than 4% of adults who got their
results from the Internet.
TV will have access to 12.6 million new households through
a national distribution agreement with Time Warner Cable,
which clears the way for Bloomberg TV to pursue carriage
on all of TW's regional cable systems.
(Media news continued on next page)
Edition, October 18, 2000, Page 4
TO EDITOR OF NEWSWEEK INT'L.
Fareed Zakaria, who is managing editor of Foreign Affairs
magazine, was named editor of Newsweek International.
Zakaria, who will report to editor Mark Whitaker, will join
the magazine in January.
He will be responsible for the content and direction of
Newsweek's overseas editions, and will also write a regular
column for Newsweek and appear on an occasional basis in
The Washington Post.
Named "one of the 21 most important people of the 21st
century" by Esquire magazine in 1999, Zakaria has been
the managing editor of Foreign Affairs since 1993. He has
been a contributing editor at Newsweek since 1996.
In other staff moves, national affairs editor Steve Strasser
was named managing editor of Newsweek International, replacing
Alexis Gelber, who was named director of special projects.
Strasser's wife, Joyce Barnathan, is assistant managing
editor at Business Week.
Michael Hirsh, previously senior editor/diplomatic correspondent,
was named foreign editor of the U.S. edition.
Roger Friedman has resigned as managing editor of
Phillips Business Information, which was just acquired by
VS&A Comms. Partners III, New York. Friedman, who oversaw
eight PBI publications, including PR News, is getting married
Greg Lohr was recently named to cover the marketing
and media beat for The Washington Business Journal. 703/312-8344.
Sietsema has succeeded Phyllis Richman as The Washington
Post's restaurant critic.
Davis was named acting editor of Environment Writer,
a Washington, D.C.-based newsletter published by the Environmental
Health Center, which is a division of the non-governmental
National Safety Council.
Davis replaces EW's founding editor, Bud Ward, who becomes
a contributing editor.
JUDGMENT AWARDED IN BGH LAWSUIT
A Florida state court jury on Aug. 18 awarded $425,000 to
broadcast reporter Jane Akre in her lawsuit against a Tampa
station (WTVT-TV) and Fox Television, its owner.
Akre and reporter Steve Wilson charged in their suit that
Fox had killed a story on bovine growth hormone (BGH) under
Both Fox and Wilson, who received no award, filed appeals.
The court was scheduled to begin hearings on Oct. 12.
Although a jury denied three other claims in the lawsuit
filed by the wife-husband reporting team, it found in late
August that Akre had been fired in violation of Florida's
Whistleblower Act after she threatened to complain to the
FCC about Fox's alleged attempt to falsify her story.
In February 1997, Akre and Wilson put together a four-part
series on BGH and milk, quoting several experts expressing
worries that BGH-produced milk may increase cancer risks
BGH's main producer, the Monsanto Co., put pressure on the
Fox station not to air the series, saying its concerns were
unsubstantiated. The reporters refused to change the series
and it never ran. Akre and Wilson were fired in November
1997, and the couple sued the station for breach of contract
and retaliation in 1998.
More information on the case is available on the plaintiff's
website at www.foxbghsuit.com.
Smithsonian Publishing Group, which includes Smithsonian
magazine and its spinoff, Air & Space, is moving its
publishing offices to New York from Washington, D.C.
has changed its name to LocalBusiness.com.
The site provides local news and information for small-and
medium-size businesses in more than 27 U.S. markets. The
Ft. Lauderdale-based company recently acquired TrueAdvantage,
an online provider of request for proposal services.
has launched a free E-mail tracking service, called TV Alert,
to notify investors via E-mail whenever their favorite financial
topic or stock is mentioned on Bloomberg Television.
TV Alert, which was developed by TVEyes.com, will
provide a transcript of the text, a brief history of previous
mentions, and links to view related video.
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Dearborn,
Mich., has relaunched Molding Systems magazine as Automotive
Plastics. The new magazine will focus on technologies that
help auto and transportation plastic-part processors design
and manufacture better products. Ray Chalmer is chief editor.
Hanley-Wood, Washington, D.C.-based publisher, which
is owned by VS&A Communications Partners III, New York,
has just published the first issue of ihousing magazine.
The quarterly is geared toward Internet-savvy building professionals.
Each issue will have web news, trends and site reviews,
and the latest on buying and selling housing services via
the Internet plus reviews of information that can be found
on the web, and how-to's.
Boyce Thompson, who is editor of Builder magazine, is also
editor of ihousing. 202/452-0800.
Corp.'s News Network has settled a lawsuit against TheStreet.com
and the website's largest shareholder, fund manager James
Cramer, over the site's cancellation of a weekly TV show
the two companies jointly produced.
The show was cancelled after Fox barred commentators from
discussing stocks they own and because of critical comments
Fox officials made about the show.
The New York state court suit followed Cramer's recommendation
on a show in April that investors buy TheStreet.com's stock
Edition, October 18, 2000, Page 7
STATE CALLED TOP PARTY SCHOOL
Florida State University, national football champs, is also
the No. 1 "party school," according to Beer and
Circus, a book by Indiana University Professor Murray Sperber.
He claims partying overwhelms studying at many colleges.
"If a beer-and-circus poll existed, FSU would be the
national champ," writes Sperber.
He notes that the school is "always near or at the
top of `party school' lists" including the one published
by the Princeton Review (not related to Princeton University).
While FSU officials dispute the scientific validity of the
Princeton findings, Sperber says they are based on "an
enormous number of questionnaires."
Princeton researchers visit campuses and ask students how
many hours a day they study and how much alcohol and drugs
they consume. The popularity of fraternities and sororities
is studied. Colleges are also rated on whether students
Sperber contends that FSU "rates very low in quality
of undergraduate education" and is a "prime example
of an institution that provides its students with beer-and-circus
and not much undergraduate education."
FSU Rebuts Charges
Asked about the book, FSU officials said they had not yet
read it but were well aware of Princeton's findings in the
past few years.
The media relations office of FSU provided a two-page statement
by president Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte attacking
the Princeton study, which first named FSU as the No.1 party
school in 1996.
The statement said Princeton mixes good information supplied
by the schools themselves (admissions policies, financial
aid, etc.) with bad information about dorm life, parties,
etc., supplied on an anecdotal basis by students.
Blasting the Princeton findings as admittedly "unscientific,"
FSU in 1999 gave Princeton the "Golden Gargoyle Award"
for the "most manipulative, bogus research."
Rayburn Criticizes Rankings
Also criticizing the Princeton rankings was Prof. J.D. Rayburn
of the Dept. of Communications, a longtime leader in PR
Society of America and the Florida PR Society.
About 500 of FSU's 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students
are majoring in communications including 60 who are majoring
in PR, he said.
FSU notes that the difficult subject of biology is the most
popular major at FSU; it has been among the top 20 schools
recruiting National Merit Scholars in four of the past five
years; it has the highest graduation rate of all Florida
universities, and many campus groups have pledged to go
FSU was one of ten schools seeking a $700,000 grant from
the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to lead a national project
to curb student alcohol use.
ASKS COMPROMISE ON APR
Art Stevens, official candidate for chair-elect of PRSA
against write-in candidate Joann Killeen, said he would
allow non-accredited presidents of chapters to be members
of the Assembly.
He said many chapter presidents who are not APR are "frustrated
that as leaders of their chapters they cannot be Assembly
The current rule is that all national board members and
Assembly delegates must be APR.
Responses to Questions
Stevens, who answered ten questions put to him by this NL,
said he still believes that national board members and officers
should be APR.
Killeen, replying to the same ten questions (their complete
answers are on www.odwyerpr.com) said she supports the APR
requirement but is willing to live with whatever the Assembly
The marketing of APR should be directed at incoming PR pros
rather than veterans who may not see the value of it, said
Stevens. He believes that in "five to ten years a much
higher percentage of all PRSA members will be accredited."
O.K. for Blue Book in January
On other subjects, both Stevens and Killeen said the Blue
Book of members should be published in January when its
cost can be accommodated by PRSA's present financial condition
and that there should be no quota of senior PRSA members
working at headquarters. Both say the Assembly should pass
the next two phases of the dues increase.
Stevens said a PRSA member should be able to send one e-mail
that reaches all 282 Assembly delegates (282 separate e-mails
are now required) while Killeen supports this but said it's
too late to do it this year.
Stevens prefers the title of "president" for the
top elected officer while Killeen says it "doesn't
matter what the title is...what matters is the work that
Killeen Would Ask Members About Pubs
Stevens favors continuing Tactics and Strategist while Killeen
says they will be re-evaluated as part of a member survey
in 2001. Member opinions will be the deciding factor, she
Stevens' definition of PR, from his book, The Persuasion
Explosion, is: "PR is the shaping of perception, through
communication, for the achievement of positive goals."
Killeen defines PR as "building relationships with
key constituent and stakeholder groups...we listen to these
audiences; we interpret them to senior management..."
On the question of deferred dues, Killeen notes that many
associations do so and that at present PRSA is deferring
the part of dues that cover subscriptions to T&S. She
has proposed that PRSA go back to a January billing date
for all members "so that we can see the renewal rate
early in the year."
Edition, October 18, 2000, Page 8
International Assn. of Business Communicators, having
spent $1 million on the initial stages of its "TalkingBusinessNow"
e-business, needs $400K to get the site launched. Sponsorships
are available at anywhere from $25K to $300K...Development
Technologies, which has been working with PRSA h.q.
nearly two years on installation of the iMIS computer software
(and PRSA is still not satisfied), has thus far declined
to make any public comment on the criticisms voiced about
DT's work by PRSA staffers and officers. PRSA has said it
may refuse to pay the last bill of DT and may have to re-enter
all the data from its previous computer setup...the income
tax return of PRSA, originally due June 30, is going
to be very late again this year. A request for an extension
was filed in April and another one in July. Last year the
return was not filed until November. The form contains financial
information not in the Deloitte & Touche audits including
the salary and other payments of COO Ray Gaulke.
Stevens, candidate for chair-elect of PRSA, favors members
being able to e-mail the 282 Assembly delegates with one
e-mail rather than 282. This is in the spirit of the PRSA
code which calls on members to espouse "the democratic
process." It would only take someone at h.q. an hour
or two to set this up and would allow rank-and-file members
to voice their opinions in advance of the Assembly Oct.
and Circus, a mostly negative view of bigtime, sports-oriented
colleges, had a positive note about the J-school at the
University of Missouri. A student is quoted as saying: "Most
students here, except for the journalism majors, feel they
don't need to try hard [in classes] and they can get by
and get their degree." B&C faults the big beer
companies even though most have pulled back on ads in campus
newspapers. Instead, says the book, they are helping to
fund "Ladies' Night," two-for-one" drink
specials and other promotions that draw students every weekday
night to the scores of bars that lay just off-campus. There
are at least 52 bars and restaurants outside of the University
of Georgia at Athens, a Los Angeles Times reporter found.
Another positive note is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,
which is trying to change student attitudes toward drinking
via grants. Many schools have refused to participate in
the program, noted one administrator...this topic is
an important one for the PR world since a 1995 study
by Prof. Jack Haberstroh of Virginia University found that
members of the Counselors Academy of PRSA are appalled at
writing skills of graduates. Even some honor graduates of
Ivy League schools cannot write or think clearly, one counselor
told Haberstroh. "It's a disaster area and universities
must do something about it," he wrote in the 1995 Winter
PR Quarterly (also described in 4/5/95 NL).
Salomon Smith Barney analyst Guy Moszkowski last
week reversed his negative opinion about Morgan Stanley
Dean Witter's high-yield bonds after a complaint by Morgan,
the New York Post reported Saturday, Oct. 14. The bank's
stock had plummeted from $92 to $74.50 until it reported
that losses were only $90 million and not $500M to $1 billion
as rumored. Moszkowski had reported that Morgan's deals
fare worse than those of other underwriters but then retracted
that conclusion, saying Morgan's "risk-management disciplines
are among the strongest in the industry."
former PRSA president Judith Bogart heatedly told the
Assembly last year that rumors of irregularities in the
nominating process were false, criticisms of that process
continue to surface. National director Tom Bartikoski, in
a letter to the current nominating committee Sept. 26, wrote:
"Last year, I personally witnessed advocacy for competing
candidates behind the scenes that made our Assembly elections
for officers a very negative experience for me, and many
in the Assembly." Reports continue to circulate that
some key insider was censored or chastised in some way for
behavior relating to last year's nominations.